Gilad Atzmon highlights the inherent contradictions in the views of
Israeli Zionist author David Grossman who appears to espouse peace with
the Palestinians but shows worrying signs of Jewish supremacism.
It would seem that the world is giving a standing ovation to the new Israeli orator, the author David Grossman. Israel's public relations desperately needs a righteous intellectual, an author who "talks peace", a man who preaches "reconciliation", a man of shalom. On 8 November the Guardian published a speech by Grossman which he gave the previous week at the Yitzchak Rabin memorial in Tel Aviv.
Grossman is a "matured enlightened Israeli", a light left Zionist who craves for a change. I read Grossman's speech and I must say that, although the man is seen by some as an Israeli left intellectual, I see in his speech nothing but hard core Jewish supremacy and even maintenance of the old crude Zionist racial agenda. Grossman, like other Israelis, is totally submerged in a Zio-centric chauvinist discourse, a discourse of denial of the Palestinian cause; i.e. the right of return
I have collected and highlighted some outrageous extracts made by the newly emerging Hebraic left orator.
Grossman and the myth of "Jewish universal values"
Grossman, the Israeli some of us love to love, serves us with a major glimpse into the secular Zionist mind. "I am," he says about himself, "a man entirely without religious faith". However, Grossman doesn't stop just there. "For me, the establishment – and very existence – of the state of Israel is something of a miracle that happened to us as a people; a political, national, human miracle."
I ask myself, since when do secular beings believe in miracles? One may have to remind the "Israeli secular intellectual" that a miracle is "an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause". Indeed, Grossman, like many other Israelis, has managed to follow a new form of secularism. It is an atheism that "ascribes to some supernatural cause". Bizarrely enough, the Zionist seculars are pretty fundamentally orthodox about their new pathetic religion. I would like to help Grossman and suggest to him that there is no real, truly heroic miracle about Israel. Israel is just a vulgar, racist ultra-nationalist state. Israel's relative success seems miraculous only because it took its Arab neighbours a few generations to adapt to the level of Zionist barbarism.
According to Grossman, Israel wasted that "miracle", that "great and rare opportunity that history granted it, the opportunity to create an enlightened, properly functioning democratic state that would act in accordance with Jewish and universal values".
Following Grossman's glimpse into the Jewish spirit, enlightenment and democracy are foreign to Jews and their occurrence within the Jewish sphere should be acknowledged as a miracle. Probably without realizing it, Grossman admits that "enlightenment" and "democracy" oppose the Jewish spirit. Certainly, this intellectual current is not new, neither is it original. The early waves of Zionist ideologists believed that, in Zion, a new Jew would emerge: a civilized, secular, democratic and enlightened Jew who rebels against his morally degenerate Diaspora ancestor.
More worryingly, Grossman bluntly deceives his listeners by referring to "Jewish universal values" as if such values are nothing but an accepted common knowledge. As bizarre as it may seem to some, there is no general accepted set of "Jewish universal values". Is there a book that presents a notion of "Jewish universal values"? I don't think so. If there is a set of values that should be acknowledged as "Jewish universal values", those are properly conveyed by the Judaic core. I believe that Torah Jews who genuinely support the Palestinian cause may know something about universal values. Yet, Grossman portrays himself as a secular man. Surely, it isn't the Judaic orthodox interpretation he is thinking of when referring to Jewish universality. In fact, it is Christianity that translates Judaism into a universal value system. It is Christianity that transforms the "neighbor" into a "universal other". Without a doubt, there are plenty of universal humanists who happen to be Jewish by origin. Yet there is no recognized set of "Jewish universal values". Grossman and other Jewish intellectuals who spread the myth of "Jewish universalism" are deceiving themselves and their listeners. Moreover, the fact that Jewish secularism lacks a philosophical background may explain the general moral bankruptcy of the Jewish state. As we will read soon, even Grossman himself falls into the same trap. He may be aware of the concept of morality but he fails to present a consistent moral worldview. He may be aware of the negative effect of racism but he himself manages to fall into supremacist bigotry rather easily.
Grossman is courageous enough to stand up and admit that "violence and racism" has taken control of his home, Israel. So far so good. For a second I tend to believe that Grossman is indeed an enlightened anti-racist secular Jew but then, just a sentence later, he asks "how can it be that a people with our powers of creativity and regeneration" has managed to finds itself today "in such a feeble, helpless state"?
The critical reader may ask himself what is Grossman really referring to when he says "a people with our powers of creativity and regeneration"? It is rather simple. Grossman truly believes in the uniqueness of the chosen people. In other words, Grossman is basically a biological determinist.
The question to be asked here is why does the Guardian dedicate three pages to a Jewish supremacist? I believe that Jews do enjoy some freedoms the rest of humanity lacks. For instance, I find it hard to believe that the Guardian would give a voice to a German philosopher who praises Aryan people's "powers of creativity and regeneration". Somehow, a Jewish intellectual can get away saying just that.
Although Grossman is honest enough to admit that the Palestinians have placed Hamas in their leadership, he calls on Ehud Olmert to "appeal to the Palestinians, over Hamas's head. Appeal to the moderates among them, to those who, like you and me, oppose Hamas and its ideology".
Mr Grossman, if you are indeed a universal humanist, something I obviously suspect, the you had better learn to listen to Hamas rather than speak to the Palestinians over their elected leaders' heads.
Grossman obviously fail to respect his neighbours, he fails to respect their democratic choice. Generally speaking, I suggest that we leave the despicable method of speaking over heads to Bush and Blair. Intellectuals have the privilege of listening and to acting ethically.
Grossman the victim
But Grossman's Jewish chutzpah doesn't stop just there. "Look at the Palestinians, just once," he tells Olmert. "You will see a people no less tortured than we are." Yes, this isn't a joke. Grossman, the colonialist Jew who dwells on occupied Palestinian land in a state that is ethnically cleansing an indigenous nation, is looking at the terrorized Palestinian victims while saying "they are almost as tortured as me".
This says it all. It summarizes the level of Zio-left blindness. Indeed, if these are the Israeli leftists, who need the right?
In his concluding paragraph, Grossman admits: "The differences between right and left are not that great today." He is correct. Within the European political discourse, Grossman, the Israeli left intellectual icon, is nothing other than a trivial right-wing neo-conservative, a man who appears apologises for a form of Jewish supremacism that is disguised as goodwill, a man who talks over the heads of other people.
Grossman and the two-state solution
Grossman is deceiving himself and his listeners by saying that "the land will be divided, that there will be a Palestinian state". You are partially wrong, Mr Grossman. This land will never be divided. I will make it very simple so that you and your very few Zio-leftists may understand once and for all. Palestine is a land, Israel is a state. Palestine will always be Palestine, i.e. a land. Israel, on the other hand, is a racist, nationalist state and will disappear. The land won't be divided. It will reunite into one Palestine. Rather than maintaining a racist, nationalist state, I call Grossman and his friends to join the one Palestine movement, a movement that endorses equality in the land of Palestine, a Palestine where values are universal.
• Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born musician and writer, and a proponent of a secular and democratic one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which the two peoples live in one state as citizens with equal rights and responsibilities.